Phelps to Join Doyle’s RoomUS Olympic hero Michael Phelps could be joining the celebrity team at Doyle’s Room after Brunson and his son Todd have been photographed with Phelps teaching him poker. Stories about Phelps’ involvement with poker have been circulating since the Olympics when he revealed that he enjoyed playing online poker.
Phelps, who won eight golds in Beijing, has previously been invited to the Asian Poker Tour, but he did not attend. He has also been invited to the WSOPE in Leicester Square with his £10,000 entrance fee paid for him, however his attendance has not been confirmed despite Phelps commenting to the Baltimore Sun that he thinks, “it would be cool to play in the World Series of Poker.” His team mate Amanda Beard has also confirmed his love of poker by saying Phelps, “sits on his computer for like 10 hours a day playing online poker. That’s all he does.”
Demand for the Olympian is high and a partnership with Doyle’s Room would without doubt increase memberships. Celebrity sports-player endorsements have recently become even more popular with the signings of Canadian hockey player Mats Sudin by PokerStars and Australian cricketer Shane Warne to Pacific Poker.
Doyle’s Room accepts US players and is a brand of Microgaming, which has now moved ahead of Bodog Poker in terms of real cash players.
Brunson said of Phelps, “What a nice kid! He had a bunch of his friends from home with him and they were guests at Palms Hotel and Casino. I got the call that he was an avid poker fan and wanted to meet me, Todd and Hoyt Corkins. Jennifer Harman and her husband Marco were also there. Phelps and some of his friends wanted books so I took Super System 1 and 2 to them and they asked all kinds of poker questions. Michael said all he wanted to do in life, was to eat, swim and play poker. We went to his suite to hang out for a while. His suite had a basketball court, swimming pool, workout room, multiple bedrooms and bathrooms. It must have been 15- to20,000 square feet; the nicest one I’ve ever seen.”
Phelps’ record in Beijing surpassed Mark Spitz’s, who won seven golds in the 1972 Games. Overall, Phelps won 16 Olympic medals and he ranks second in the leader board for total Olympic medals won during a whole career, with Soviet Gymnast Larissa Latynina who has 18 medals won across three different Olympics. Brunson has also had success in his career; he was the first player to ever win $1 million in poker tournaments and has 10 World Series of Poker bracelets.
A Doyle’s Room representative said about Phelps, “One thing for sure is that he loves poker and is starting his education right at the top with Doyle and his son Todd.”